Existence By Jo Clement

Posted on December 15, 2021 by Stephanie Ballantine

We are here, beside the Reichstag, to present the signatures of the dead: five hundred
thousand, and more, that float down the Spree. We raked for names and brought armfuls
to this glade, this graveyard they would drive
an S-Bahn through. A train through a memorial.
A train through our daily grief. With its coffee cups and stubs, Berlin Central isn’t far from here,
and Deutsche Bahn still clatters human freight over Reichsbahn tracks. Arrivals, fraught
departures. Passing names. Do not move,
they say. Then even in death, Go.
No. This place is our Karavan, dear Roma, sweet Sinti. Here, a decade long,
the beaten heart persists. Over and over,
a violin slices a mournful minor note.
Let’s whistle this pitch to the children,
call them back. Each one remembering,
remembered. Faces pooling in nightwater. Every day, a fresh flower rises.